something something I did not make an article because I was too lazy to study for my finals before the (two) days before I took it something something. But BOY do I not regret not making an article last week because I would have made a wrong prediction, undermining my credibility as an RGL Match Analyst And Predictor*. While I can only guarantee the accuracy of the former of my titles**, I am looking forward to flexing the second of my titles** when it comes to this upcoming week: Playoffs Week 1. Before I do either, however, I must now issue the final division-wide team power rankings.
*I am not affiliated with RGL in any way. **I have no titles.
- My RGL Profits Have Declined (+1)
- Desperado Crash Mambo Combo (-1)
- Break the Meta
Out of Playoffs
- tuatards (+1)
- @yo_grrt (-1)
- Gang Unit Tactics
With the surprising victory of tuatards over Desperado Crash Mambo Combo comes the last of the shifts I will be making this season with tuatards moving up a spot and Desperado Crash Mambo Combo moving down a spot following the Week 7 matches where tuatards beat DCMC. The latter is significantly more important for playoffs as I believe that the defeat of DCMC by tuatards marks a very dangerous spot for DCMC. While previously I had thought that DCMC would just have to ban Viaduct (their other defeat in the main season) but were generally better on other maps, their loss to tuatards (who are substantially worse as a team) on Steel indicates that they really have two different weak maps. While being bad at Steel is common, and they can likely bank on other teams choosing not to pick it, this is not a comfortable position for them to be in. The continually-improving roster of My RGL Profits Have Declined and the inconsistency of DCMC’s performances during the season leaves me with the conclusion that it is TheS4rr<3’s squad which is looking like the forerunner for winning Challenger (asides from Bye Week). The other two playoffs’ teams are a strange story, they seem significantly weaker than the top two teams on paper, and they have both had mixed success against the other top teams. However, I think that it isBreak the Meta (the only playoffs team to have taken no rounds in any match against the other top 4 teams) who will unfortunately fall into 4th. Yeye’s performance will be the one to watch for the first two weeks, as their ability to over-perform in matches will be the ultimate decider of whether they will be able to knock-out DCMC or Profits for First or Second.
Week 7 Match-Analysis and Write-Up
The last week of the main season brought some surprising (and some not-so-surprising) matches. As it was impossible for any of the bottom 3 teams to secure a spot in playoffs, the best one could hope for was a good showing in their final matches and they more than provided.
Profits__ v. __BTM (2-0) - Logs
A bit unsurprising given the relative position of these teams in the division, it was quite impressive just how handily Profits won this match given the emphasis of BTM on map and reviews, which nominally should improve your odds of winning on Steel more than they would for any other map. The gap between these teams was, apparently, just too large for reviews to bridge. Normally a combo-reliant team, BTM’s combo was not able to do much against stellar performances by Moist Master, TeatsMcGee and TheS4rr<3 for Profits. This was amplified by an apparent collapse in the second half, with BTM securing a weak 12:17 time for capturing just A, B and E, against a 4:49 time (including setup) for Profits doing the exact same thing. Profits also secured the first round with a 6-minute A-E push, which Break the Meta was unable to beat. While not capping all 5 points is a legitimate strategy, the weakness of Break the Meta to these strategies indicates more than anything a lack of coordination and/or effective maincalling. Normally I would give more consideration to class-by-class performance but the fact that 9 players in the server got below 200 DPM indicates that this was a real grind game that was won or lost based on pushes, not individual performances. That being said, the usual characters of kjr, Jinzo, and Markers all had solid performances alongside Teli.
Standout players: TheS4rr<3 and TeatsMcGee for Profits_. __Jinzo and kj for BTM.
DCMC v. tuatards (1-2) - Logs
For all the Chocc stans*** out there, this was an exciting (but ultimately meaningless for playoffs) win for the tua squad. While DCMC did not seem particularly strong on Steel over the course of the weekend, I doubt that many people expected tuatards to pull the upset win here, myself included. With what can only be described as underwhelming performances from all of DCMC’s combo players, their win was left entirely up to their flank and their Sniper cinder. While on most other maps this likely would have been enough, it is not the best strategy for winning on Steel and it did not pan out for DCMC here. As a longtime Chocc fanatic, it was clear that he could have a huge impact on his team being able to win on Steel (which he has always overperformed on) and DCMC, frankly, got farmed by him and dt for tuatards. Despite a fairly commanding performance in Round 1 with a very solid A-B-C-D-E push time of 6:55 (which they held), they were not able to repeat this in the next two halves. In the second round tuatards was able to put up a 4:01 A-E push, which DCMC could not beat. In the final round, DCMC again got a ~7 minute push for A-B-C-D-E but were unable to hold against an exceptionally fast ~5 minute A-B-C-E push for tuatards. This sort of collapse on defense following good offenses perhaps explains why Bliztank for DCMC titled the logs “hey guys i think we should rotate'' as they clearly failed to adjust their playstyle to beat that of tuatards. I hope for the sake of DCMC’s placement ambitions that this match was a unique failure to play correctly rather than just the latest indicator of their mortality as they approach playoffs with three other teams more than able to beat them if they play poorly.
***Please pick this man up for your Invite teams next season, I do not know what else he must do to prove that he’s capable of playing in that division.
Standout players: Chocc, tua, dt for tuatards; Bliztank & cinder for DCMC.
Gang Unit Tactics v. @yo_grrt (2-0) - Logs
A disappointingly one-sided match that I would have hoped @yo_grrt was better able to contest. This match was far closer than the 2-0 score line would suggest, with both teams scoring average times in both halves. The first half saw GUT push and hold an 8:51 time and the second half saw @yo_grrt set a 7:58 time which was just beaten by a 7:38 time from GUT. Overall, it just seems that @yo_grrt played well but just came up short against GUT who all played well. Virtually all classes performed at basically the same level except for the big overperformances of norphel08 and airballer for @yo_grrt and Spanish Inquisition for GUT. What gave GUT the slight edge in this matchup was almost certainly the wealth of experience held by all their players, especially their experience playing together. This edge is most pronounced when, like in this match, the mechanical skill of the players on both teams is not too dissimilar.
Standout players: MichaelPC1 and Spanish Inquisition for Profits. Soap, norphel08, and airballer for BTM.
Yeye v. Bye Week (2-0)
With Team Mental taking a break this week, Bye Week was left on its own to fend against Yeye. Yeye showed why they have a 23-2 record (not counting wins reversed because of a certain individual) in the past 3 seasons with a decisive win here.
MVPs: Tom Servo for making the right choice.
Week 8 Match Predictions
Before I will quickly go over some of the new features being added to my predictions. As there are only 2 matches, I will not be doing a Class Comparison for all 9 classes for all playoffs matches as well as a Map-by-Map breakdown. These are what they sound like. I will also be scoring the matches based on maps rather than on rounds to match the actual way playoffs matches are scored in RGL. To drive clicks, the opinions presented here must be polarizing.
My RGL Profits Have Declined v. Break The Meta (2-0)
Map 1: Product (4-1)
This should not be a close map. Profits has already won a convincing victory on this map against their strongest rival, DCMC, during the regular season. It is almost certain that as their roster has gotten stronger, so has their product play. This map is also doubly painful for BTM as KOTH exposes them to the harsh Flank matchup that valikyr and Teli have against the flank of sobigallmytoesarebigtoes and rev. The ability of BTM to win this matchup will likely be determined by how TeatsMcGee is playing that day, with his ability to flip-flop between being goated and woated having a disproportionate impact on the strongest Demo KOTH map in rotation. Expect solid performances by Markers and TheS4rr<3 for both teams but a big advantage on the Spy class in Shido which BTM will have to focus on controlling if they want their Sniper or their Combo to do anything on this map.
Map 2: Ashville (4-2)
I have to say I do not understand the pick strategy of Markers here, going with a second KOTH map against Profits. While I do think that BTM is substantially better at Ashville than they are at Product, I think that this map will fall even more heavily upon their flank disadvantage while offering only marginally more room to their combo by making it hard on Shido for Profits to play the game (Ashville syndrome). Expect the combo of BTM to make use of this increased space to do work, with very strong players in kjr and Jinzo, but also expect their work to be cut out for them as they try to deal with constant pressure across the map from sobigallmytoesarebigtoes and rev from Profits. This should be a relatively comfortable win for Profits but it could translate into a narrow win for BTM, taking it to the third map.
Map 3: Vigil (1-2)
When a team should win a match 2-0 handily, getting taken to a third map alone can be demoralizing. Profits is a momentum team and coming off a lost map that they should win is not good at maintaining that momentum. Additionally, BTM is a strong vigil team. If the match gets taken to the third map expect BTM to start eking out an advantage with strong Heavy-centric play around Jinzo and a solid out-performance of TeatsMcGee for Profits by kjr, who is ultimately far better and more experienced at playing Vigil, no matter how much Teats may be feeling himself. While it should not be a roll, and it should not even get to map 3, BTM should win if this somehow does happen.
Player v. Player Class Comparison
sobigallmytoesarebigtoes > valikyr (Large Advantage)
sobigallmytoesarebigtoes is probably the single most important pickup that Profits has made, as one of the very few scouts in the division able to consistently contest RPC_33 for DCMC and shoring up the last of their (quite few) weaknesses as a roster. valikyr is a talented new player but is simply not that close to being able to contest sobigallmytoesarebigtoes at this point in his development as a player.
rev > Teli (Small Advantage)
While rev has a large advantage over Teli in experience, he does not have a large advantage in mechanical skill. Teli has been grinding the class for years at this point and has performed respectably in Invite and Advanced multiple times. While I do expect that rev will do better than him, I expect that Teli will suffer much more from his Scout losing important fights and then taking fights at a disadvantage himself.
T.K. > Joey (Medium Advantage)
Joey has historically been a solid Invite Pyro, but he is out of practice. Further, Joey plays a very supportive Pyro who relies on his team to make plays that he can follow-up on. On a better team, Joey would be able to do a lot more. However, on the team he is on he does not have a lot of space to do anything, unlike T.K. T.K. has often been controversial with a relatively DM-heavy playstyle which he has attempted in Invite to mixed success, however it unquestionably works in Challenger. T.K. will likely wreak havoc this match as he has done all season, especially if BTM suffers from the coordination crisis they suffered from during Steel Week.
TeatsMcGee < kjr (Medium Advantage)
TeatsMcGee has been a consistently solid Demo for years at this point. He has always been able to contest around a high-Advanced/low-Invite level, but never higher. The same is not true of kjr who has consistently been one of the outliers on his teams in Invite and Advanced, even when they were not winning. Playing off this advantage is one of the few avenues to victory for Break the Meta.
Moist Master > Jinzo (Small Advantage)
None of the maps picked this time around are maps where Pootis has a huge impact, which restricts me from wanting to put anything other than a Small Advantage. Do not let the “Small” part of Small advantage tarnish the superiority of Moist Master on his class and his ability to consistently do what his team needs him to do so that they can win. However, he has a rigid playstyle which, if especially Markers can adapt to, they might be able to turn this Small Advantage into an Advantage for Jinzo. Jinzo is a new player to the class (relatively) but has shown he is very capable at it and especially very capable of making massive plays. If Profits does not take care of the Pootis like they should, expect Jinzo to be able to take full Advantage.
reigh > AC130 (Medium Advantage)
reigh is an invite Medic and has been for seasons. She is not a perfect player, but her mechanics and positioning are top-class. AC130 is one of the best Challenger Medics this season, but he has not benefited from the coaching and experience of Invite to refine his gameplay to the point reigh’s gameplay is at. Consider this comparison an indicator of how important experience is to the Medic class rather than any sort of negative mark against the very competent AC130.
NicKk < Buttface (Small Advantage)
NicKk lacks the experience on Engineer class that Buttface has but makes up for it with far more mechanical ability. While it is not always enough that an Engie simply has better DM, it can make up for a difference in knowledge if the gap is big enough. That is the case here. Buttface has sufficient DM but is not an outstanding engineer, rather one of many competent ones in the division, a class to which NicKk also belongs. Neither is substantially worse than the other, but neither is that much better that it will likely swing the match. Expect Buttface’s superior knowledge to come into play in a big way if the match does end up going to Map 3.
TheS4rr<3__ > __Markers (Small Advantage)
At this point, TheS4rr<3 has made me question every week why I do not list him as one of the top 2 Snipers in the division. The only reason I can think of is that he is exceptionally close to cinder and Markers. TheS4rr<3 has dominated in matches and in scrims for weeks at this point while Markers has been struggling to stay relevant with the team that surrounds him. I think that, skill-wise, both players are similar. However, given that part of playing a class is playing around your team (and making your team play around you), TheS4rr<3 will most likely outperform Markers this match.
Shido > DoofedUpWeiner (Medium Advantage)
Shido is the best Spy in the division without contest and has proven it almost every week this season. While he did have a rival in Spy sinister for Seductive Nine, that team died and left him without real competition. While there are other spies on other playoffs teams that are closer to Shido, DoofedUpWeiner is not one of them.
Overall Prediction: 2-0 for Profits (2-1 for BTM if it goes to Vigil) Viaduct: 4-1 for Profits Ashville: 4-2 for Profits Vigil: 2-1 for BTM (if played)
Yeye v. Desperado Crash Mambo Combo (0-2)
Map 1: Ashville (2-4)
Somehow, despite DCMC losing two maps decisively during the season, neither of those two maps were picked against them in their first playoff match despite both Viaduct and Steel being open as picks. A novel strategy, I suppose. Ashville is not a super great map for Yeye and has been a good map for DCMC throughout the preseason and the regular season. Especially DZCreeper and Luigi perform very well on this map, allowing the combo and the flank of DCMC to have their ever-solid performances capitalized on. Expect the flank of Yeye to struggle to contest RPC_33 and Bliztank unless Toss for Yeye goes god-mode during the match. I do not think this will be a complete stomp, even if I am predicting 4-2, as Yeye should be able to take a sizable chunk of time off the clock every round, even if I strongly doubt they will be able to ultimately secure a win on Asheville despite choosing to pick the map.
Map 2: Upward (0-2)
DCMC’s map pick, and one they are very dominant on. Despite losing to various other teams on various maps, Upward is a map I have not seen DCMC lose more or less at all this season (and certainly never lose a Best-of-Three). Leaving this open as a pick and choosing to ban Steel (even though DCMC would never pick it) was a big misplay and will likely cost Yeye the match. I do not think that DCMC is overwhelmingly strong on Offense on the map, but they are exceptionally good at Defense and at playing quickly off picks on Offense, meaning that their opponents will often get below-average times when pushing while DCMC will get slightly above-average times on Offense, leading to a convincing win. This map will ultimately come down to the ability of chase and yeye of Yeye to control the very dominant DZCreeper for DCMC. If they can, they might be able to get a round here, but whether this will go to Map 3 will almost certainly depend on the ability of Yeye to perform on their map pick of Ashville.
Map 3: Vigil (1-2)
A mixed bag of a map to be sure, Vigil is rapidly becoming of the same order as Steel for upset victories by teams you would expect to lose. That is often due to the better team (on paper) being under-prepared while the lesser team (on-paper) came in with a strong game plan. Expect Yeye to come in with that sort of strong game plan, but also expect that to not be enough. DCMC plays Vigil very by-the-numbers and it is not very flashy or exciting and does not result in outstanding times on Offense or Defense, but their consistency on the map is their greatest strength. Yeye will not be able to exploit particularly poor play and will have to rely on outplaying DCMC, a tall task if ever there was one in playoffs. Yeye also will not have the benefit of DCMC tilting, with DCMC’s mental game reinforced by toxic maincaller DZCreeper who will berate his team until they start playing correctly again. It is not impossible for Yeye to win on this map, but they cannot just show up, they must take a convincing win against a team who is solid on the map.
Player v. Player Class Comparison
dotwet < RPC_33 (Large Advantage)
While dotwet has had a very solid performance this season and has improved drastically since preseason, RPC_33 is just the better player. With both better DM, slightly better game sense, and a hyper-aggressive playstyle it is almost certain that RPC_33 will be able to take names during this match. While this makes it even more important that dotwet control RPC_33, it is dubious to me that that will happen.
Toss < Bliztank (Medium Advantage)
Toss is one of the most mixed bags in the division. His incredibly linear playstyle is offset by his talent at bombing at the right time. Bliztank is just as good, if not better, at doing that. Toss also lacks the mechanics he needs to take advantage of the lack of strong DM from Bliztank, lessening the impact of the greatest weakness of the DCMC Soldier. Weak DM also means he will just feed harder into RPC_33. Toss is a player who can have a huge impact, and his team needs that edge if they want to win, but it is dubious that Toss will be able to make it work through the players of DCMC.
moxie < Pyrrhus (Small Advantage)
Say what you will about how he plays, moxie is a very solid player who has been a key component in helping his team succeed, especially keeping sakura alive. While he does not have a huge impact, he does enough that his team never really needs him to do more. Pyrrhus has a similar playstyle, he just plays it better off the back of more experience at a higher level. While neither of these players will likely do more in this match than punish Spies, expect relatively equal performances from both.
chase < DZCreeper (Small Advantage)
DZCreeper is one of the best Demo]s in the division, with his shield DZTheorum resulting in big wins for his team in most of their main season matches. However, DZCreeper is also more than capable of playing with Stickies when he needs to, and he will need to during this match. While Ashville allows DZCreeper to express his unnatural piping ability, Upward and Vigil both mandate a more linear and controlled Demo playstyle where DZCreeper does not particularly shine. Think of the small advantage here as an average between the Large Advantage DZCreeper has on Ashville with the No Advantage he has on both Upward and Vigil. The advantage could swing in the way of chase for Yeye if he is playing well for the match, as he has been consistently solid the whole season and likely has the potential to play even better.
__ yeye__ > Luigi (Small Advantage)
After having thought it over, I have concluded that yeye is one of the biggest game-determining factors for Yeye. Whether or not he does well is probably the best predictor of whether they will win, and I doubt that that will change in playoffs. It is fortuitous for them, therefore, that they have one of the best Heavies in the division, one who is more than capable of outperforming Luigi provided that his team plays around him. Given that he gets two different maps to strut his stuff on Upward and Vigil (if it gets there), I expect that yeye will be a game-determining factor in whether __Yeye __ walks away with a guaranteed placement here.
sakura > Q (Medium Advantage)
Q is a solid Medic. With relatively unimpressive mechanics and positioning, Q is “not bad” in the fullest sense of the word. sakura has better mechanics albeit with slightly worse positioning. The bigger difference is in the ability of sakura to make sure her team plays around her while Q simply does not have as solid a grasp on his team as sakura. This means that Q is liable to drop or pop mediocre ubers that can be game losing when his team is up against the ropes. While it is likely that both Medics will play fine, I think that only one can be game-losing on an off-day, and therefore a substantial edge must be given to sakura.
Constantly < Micahlele (Small Advantage)
Constantly is very good but Micahlele is just a sponge for the game, and his ability to absorb information more than makes up for his relative disadvantage in experience compared to Constantly. Micahlele further has significantly better DM, which will be important for the most important map of this match, Ashville, and will only result in an even harder time for Yeye to win the map they chose.
homeless < cinder (Small Advantage)
Much like Toss, homeless is a player who can pop off in matches when it matters most. While both are playing at their typical skill level, cinder is better, but if homeless really starts feeling himself during this match then expect for homeless to be able to swing the pendulum in his favor. While this might not matter a whole lot considering the maps chosen, expect for cinder to have a slightly more solid performance than homeless this match.
jayeezy < jak (Very Small Advantage)
Probably the smallest of the small advantages I will give for any of playoffs, I think that jak is slightly better at doing well in almost every match. While he is not a superstar player, and he will struggle if his team struggles, he almost always does well. That is more than can be said for jayeezy who is much more hit-or-miss. If jayeezy is hitting today, he will likely slightly outperform jak, if he is missing today, he will likely be outperformed by jak.
Overall Prediction: 2-0 for DCMC Ashville: 4-1 for DCMC Upward: 2-0 for DCMC Vigil: 2-1 for DCMC
Theoretical Best and Second-Best Roster
Spoilers: It is the same except for Second-best because I know I am correct and right.
- sobigallmytoesarebigtoes [New]
- Moist Master